U.S. Dollar Eases to Four Week Low on Retail Sales

The dollar dropped to its lowest level in four weeks against the yen as retail sales in the U.S. slumped in December by the most in almost a year, pushing back the timeline for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

Japan’s currency rose against most of its major peers as investors sought haven assets on concern steep declines in stocks and commodities signal the global economy is slowing. Government-bond yields tumbled globally. Brazil’s real rose as retail sales topped forecasts. Russia’s ruble snapped a three-day skid. Traders now expect the first Fed interest-rate increase to come in December.

“The retail sales number came in as a negative surprise,” said Collin Crownover, State Street Global Advisors Inc.’s Boston-based head of currency management. “The market has been fairly long. We’re not completely shocked by the pullback in dollar.” A long position is a bet an asset will gain in value.


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